BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Shortly before noon Monday, Adreon was driving to Costco when her cell phone rang. It was a phone number from Mexico.
She answered it and heard a frantic woman screaming and crying for help.
“I’m like, ‘ I can’t understand you. What are you saying? What do you need help with?’ It went on for probably 45 seconds of her just screaming,” Adreon told KOIN 6 News. “Then a man took the phone from her.”
He called her by her name “and it freaked me out because he knew my name.”
The man told her he was holding her daughter hostage and demanded ransom to get her back.
“I was definitely panicked and I was just trying to listen to see whatever he wanted to say and I asked him repeatedly to talk to my daughter again.”
He refused, she said, and demanded she go to the bank “or else he would kill her.”
Adreon, a 39-year-old single mom whose last name is not being revealed by KOIN, said she was terrified.
Her 20-year-old college student daughter was babysitting. Adreon didn’t know where her daughter was, if the baby was with her.
“I just wanted to listen and do whatever it took to get her back or get to her.”
The “kidnapper” kept telling her to give him updates of where she was and what she was seeing as she headed toward a bank.
She said she tried to text her daughter and the person she was babysitting for all while she kept the “kidnapper” on the speaker phone for 9 minutes.
“The babysitting people” texted back and Adreon told them to call the police. She also got texts from her daughter — and then her daughter called.
“I hung up with the guy because I wanted to hear her voice,” Adreon told KOIN 6 News. Through miscommunication in the texts, her daughter thought there was somebody in the house where she was babysitting, so she and the baby hid upstairs.
Adreon explained to her daughter what was going on and then the “kidnapper” called back.
“He yelled at me and swore at me and told me he was going to kill her because he knows I called the police.”
By then, knowing her daughter was actually safe, she felt more empowered.
“I said, ‘I’m getting your money, you need to let me talk to my daughter right now.’ He swore at me and then hung up.”
Immediately, Adreon said, she called the police and headed toward where her daughter was.
‘I am not a gullible person’
Adreon said she’s been feeling uneasy since the call and has taken steps to make her and her daughter’s everyday lives safer.
“We’re locking the doors. We’re scared of the noise. There’s a lot of things we’ll be changing in our house.”
They’ve already changed their names on Facebook, locked down their privacy settings and plan to be more careful about what they post.
“I feel like I’m younger. I see the scams coming through email all the time. I know ‘don’t open the email.’ I have no problem with that. This scam was so well thought-through and so realistic that I believed it. I am not a gullible person, you know. I can tell when somebody is lying to me.”
She decided to speak out because she doesn’t want other people to go through this.
Adreon took a personal day off from work and said she and her daughter will be fine and get through this. But she urges people to be more cautious about what they do on social media.
“There are people out there with bad intentions and you just never know when you’ll be a victim of that bad intention.”
An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (503) 629-0111.